New Zealand Mountainbike Orienteering Championships

Nelson 2-3 Nov 2013

Full results:
Championship, Men
Championship, Women
Champs Results by Course
Champs Splits by Course
Non-Champ Score Event, Two-hour
Non-Champ Score Event, One-hour

These were held around the Codgers trails over the weekend and saw 102 competitors competing for the honour to be crowned the New Zealand champion in six age classes as well as the elite grade. It has been four years since the last championships were held in New Zealand and the Nelson Orienteering Club were determined to make this a successful champs.

Competitors had to ride and navigate to up to 20 checkpoints during their races. There was fierce competition in the grades and the favourite for the men's elite grade, Chris Forne from Christchurch, completed the course in a blistering time of 75:09 minutes. Unfortunately for Chris, he missed one of the checkpoints and was disqualified from the results. This left Josh Findlay at 86:01 to be the winner of the men's elite, followed closely by Patrick Higgins on 87:25 and John Heaphy Postles on 90:30 in third.

In the women's elite grade, Marquita Gelderman from Auckland was a clear winner with a time of 89:04 minutes. The former age grade world champion in mountain bike orienteering showed her class on terrain and tracks she had never ridden on. Some distance back, on 100:34 was Lara Prince from Christchurch, closely followed by local rider Ingrid Richter on 102:16. Ingrid is new to the sport of orienteering, but she has certainly learned quickly, as shown by her 3rd placing.

A number of other locals featured on the podium, with Ed Steenbergen 3rd in the Men's 40 grade, Tim Bygate and Mark Holmes 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Men's 50 grade.

In the Women's division, Ali Burrell and Katie Malthus took out 1st and 2nd places in the 20 year age group. These two Waimea College girls are team mates in a number of adventure and orienteering competitions. In the Women's 40 year group, Robyn Dunmore and Jill Clendon took out the top two places over the favoured Aucklander Cath Hepplethwaite.

Diana Bowering and Alison Couldrey, both seasoned local competitors, took top honours in the Women's 50 yr category with Deb Bain from Christchurch in 3rd place.

Riding the challenging hills and technical single tracks, while trying to read a map mounted to your handlebars, was a great workout for all.

Saturday's championships was followed by a two hour rogaine event at Rabbit Island on Sunday, on the flat and sandy trails there. Checkpoints were located over every part of the Island, as well as Rough Island. On this occasion Chris Forne took the honours, achieving the maximum points on offer in a little over 90 minutes and a clear five minutes ahead.

The great terrain, coupled with the great courses and spectacular Nelson weather, should see these events back here in the future.

Written by for the Nelson Mail, and installed on 4 Nov 13.